Grilled seasonal veggies, fruits showcase summer’s best
With so much of summer’s bounty making its way from the farms to your grocery basket this time of year, finding new ways to enjoy it is key. From dinner sides to the main event, try these grilling tips and tricks to unlock the fantastic flavors found within seasonal summer produce.
Most vegetables grill quickly and easily at medium-high heat with minimal clean-up, while fruits are typically grilled over low to medium heat. Placing vegetables and fruits directly onto the grill will ensure beautiful score marks, whereas grilling in foil over indirect heat ensures nothing is lost between the grates.
Sweet corn or yellow corn on the cob is the perfect summer vegetable to grill because it maintains its structure, making it easy to turn and cook evenly. If you leave the corn in its husk, soak the husks before placing the corn on the grill to avoid burning the husks during the 15 to 20 minutes it will take the corn to cook. Turn every 5 minutes. Once cooked, remove the husks and serve the corn with herbed or spiced melted butter.
Grilling without the husk? Brush the corn cobs with olive oil and season with pepper and salt. Place directly on the grill and turn every five minutes, cooking for about 15 minutes. Then it’s time to eat. Any leftover corn is perfect to strip from the cob and add to summer salads; one recipe we love: Spicy Prawn, Summer Corn and Kiwi Salad.
Squash and peppers
Summer squash includes green and yellow zucchini, crookneck squash or patty pan squash. All are easy to cut into slices or wedges for the grill. Simply season with a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, herbs and seasonings, then place directly on the grill for about 5 minutes per side. That’s it! Grilled squash is tasty added to salads and to pasta dishes.
Red and green bell peppers are easy to grill, whether sliced or placed whole onto the grate. It takes about 10 minutes to cook peppers until tender. Mix with grilled onions to make the perfect topping for grilled sausages. Or add those grilled bell peppers to a main dish, such as Grilled Lime-Butter Prawns with Linguine and Sweet Chili Sauce.
Enjoy the sweet taste of grilled Jimmy Nardello peppers, a summer favorite. Jimmy Nardellos are smaller and slimmer than bell peppers. Grilled, they go great on pizza, in pasta, on sandwiches, even simply dressed with garlic-infused olive oil. Yum!
Tomatoes, stone fruits
Because of their tender skins, tomatoes, peaches, nectarines and plums grill best over medium-low heat to avoid blistering or bursting. Grilled tomatoes are delicious lightly seasoned—you’ll likely gobble them up like candy once they’re warmed through. Mix into pasta or salads. Or spoon the grilled tomatoes over your grilled meat entrée. Easy!
Grilled peaches, nectarines and plums make a wonderful summer-fresh dessert, either plain, drizzled with honey, or paired with your favorite ice cream. Cut your choice of stone fruit in half, remove the pit, then brush each slice with oil, grilling for about five minutes on each side to warm through. Delicious!